Yellow Tomato Leaves

Do any of my garden blogger friends know what’s wrong with these tomato plants?

These are Sweet Million Cherry Tomatoes. I’ve been pulling off the yellow leaves, but more keep turning yellow. I don’t want to lose them. I’ve put so many hours and so much care into them already.

I just wanted to enjoy some fresh tomatoes 😦

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10 thoughts on “Yellow Tomato Leaves

  1. Hey! I don’t see any evidence of pests or blight, so that’s good. And it looks like it’s just happening to the bottom leaves, which happens naturally. If the leaves are being shaded all day, without the sun hitting them, the plant just goes, “Welp, these aren’t really doing me any good in the photosynthesis department,” and they naturally atrophy and die.

    But if it’s happening all over (top leaves, too) it’s probably a lack of nitrogen. As a vegetarian, you’re probably not going to want to hear it but the best source of nitrogen that a plant can absorb and use quickly is blood meal (which is pretty much what it sounds like – dried animal blood).

    If you can’t get down with that (understandable), adding coffee grounds to the soil is good, though it will a bit take longer for the plant to be able to use that kind of nitrogen, and then I’d still add some composted manure on top of that. There’s a brand that Home Depot near me sells called Moo-nure, which is compost and cow manure, for about $3 for a big bag. Just put it on top of the soil in your pot and water it in. Again, it may take a few weeks for you to notice any improvement, but the compost is just a good idea regardless.

    Another good idea in the meantime is epsom salts (I know! Crazy but true!). Dissolve 1 Tablespoon of epsom salts per gallon of water (most watering cans are about 2 gallons, so dissolve 2 Tablespoons if you fill it up). In the morning before it’s too hot, pour that liquid on the plant leaves and they will be hap, hap, happy. You can do that every two weeks or so all season.

    Your local garden store may have some other liquids that you can spray onto the leaves that will help tomatoes take in nitrogren more quickly, but be sure to tell them you need something veggie/vegan friendly because a lot of this stuff does contain animal products.

    Good luck!

    • Wow! Thank you so much, you are such a rock star. B-)
      You have no idea how reassured I feel hearing that it’s something I can most likely control. You’d be surprised how emotionally invested I am in these plants!

      As far as location, the highest the yellow has traveled is mid-plant, which did concern me. I was worried it was “the thing where you don’t trim the leaves, and they get wet and soily and cause funk that spreads upwards”, and didn’t really know what to do. I tried spraying them with GardenSafe bug spray, and then Fungicide bug spray/anti-fungal, and pulling off the affected leaves (as I mentioned above). Then, I was worried I was overdoing it, backed up and called in the cavalry.

      It’s actually a little bit awesome that it could be nitrogen- not that I want these guys to suffer- but I actually have lots of Gardentone left from last year. As far as veggie stuff, I am very grateful that you were thoughtful enough to mention it, but I’m vegetarian, not vegan (although who doesn’t enjoy a great vegan meal?), and don’t check my garden products. I understand that it could be considered hypocritical, but it’s the best I can manage.

      So, I have fertilizer, but hadn’t started using it yet because the fancypants potting soil they’re living in contains fertilizer in it. But I guess they’ve grown so big that they’ve eaten it all? In any case, I’m going to give that a try, and am so glad that I have at least one of the things you mentioned.

      I never would’ve thought of epsom salts! I don’t have any right now, so that won’t be today, but the next time I’m out, they’re getting some of that, too.

      I’ll let you know how it goes!

  2. Excellent! I know all too well how easy it is to get emotionally attached to our green friends! I adore GardenTone – it’s an excellent product. With container plants, they do eat the nutrients more quickly than in-ground plants, and they also get washed away/washed out through the bottom much more quickly, so I tend to fertilizer my container plants more frequently than the stuff in the ground.

    But it certainly doesn’t look to me like you’ve got any of the wet soily funk going on, so good on you there! If you want to prevent it going forward, you can put a “mulch” of pebbles/small rocks or even sea shells on top of the soil to prevent the soil splashing up onto the leaves when it rains.

    Eager to hear how this works out for you!

    • Thanks again! I just got really impatient and pulled them again. I hope that’s ok. The same monster that made me eat tons of chocolate and had me crying over stupid things all week decided it was tired of looking at the yellow leaves. But I did fertilize them the other day.

      Oh- my buckets don’t have holes in the bottom. Instead, I have upside down colanders in there. It worked well last season, so I saw no reason to change it. I don’t know much about gardening, but when I was researching these plants last year, everyone said Gardentone was the bees’ knees. I’m just lucky I had the leftovers.

  3. Not that I know too much about gardening, but it might be that you are watering too often. Leaves turn yellow when there is an excess of moisture. It might worth to check it out! 🙂

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